Islamabad: Energy experts this week stressed the need for exploring potential of renewable energy through green financing guidelines of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
The China’s potential in renewable energy generation can potentially drive a massive shift in Pakistan’s energy sector.
It could also serve as a viable solution for Pakistan’s energy crisis which has been deepening over the years.
The experts from energy and development sector, said this during a Capacity Building Workshop on the ‘Green Financing Guidelines for CPEC Energy Projects, organized by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI).
Managing Director Private Power and Infrastructure Board, Shahjahan Mirza, highlighted that Currently 400 MW electricity is being generated in Pakistan through rooftop solar panels.
Soon, 9 off -grid districts in Balochistan will be solarized through public private partnerships. He informed the participants that AEBD is also working on capitalizing the wind corridors in Pakistan,” he said while adding further that a 1000 MW solar park is under construction in Cholistan.
Dr Hasan Daud Butt, CEO, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Board of Investment & Trade (KP-BOIT) was of view that CPEC can provide stimulus to Pakistan’s economic growth. This could be done through infrastructure development, improving intra-national connectivity and by creating opportunities for investment and employment.
However, the youth of the country face low skill development and low productivity challenge which reduces their job prospects in the CPEC projects, he highlighted.
Dr Vaqar Ahmed, Joint Executive Director, SDPI, termed the green financing guidelines extremely critical to design a pathway for achieving Nationally Determined Contributions targets of Pakistan.
“There is a need to design a predictable and certain fiscal policy for increased international investments, particularly under CPEC,” Dr Ahmed said and suggested that private banks need to introduce innovative financing models and rating mechanisms to ensure loaning for greener initiatives.
Dr. Sajid Amin, Deputy Executive Director SDPI suggested that environmental closures should be strengthened through green reporting and dialogue and active engagement of the private sector the minimize the risks around green financing of CPEC.
Dr Christoph Nedophil Wang, representing Fudan University, China, informed the participants that regulatory and business sector in China was mandated to uphold the national commitment of green financing through the CPEC project.
Dr Hina Aslam from SDPI earlier explained that SDPI in partnership with Pakistan China Initiative was aiming to build capacity through dialogues and deliberations with various stakeholders.
Ms Najia Ubaid, Additional Director, Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) highlighted that SECP provides green bonds for any project with an environmental cause including sanitation, waste management and renewable energy and any asset can be fractionalized to finance such projects.
Dr Sajid Amin, Deputy Executive Director, SDPI, emphasized that SECP could play a critical role in supporting this shift to sustainable green finance through green bonds and green shares.
Mr Muhammad Irfan representing the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) pointed out that so far 1500 projects have been funded by the SBP under its Renewable Energy Scheme and discussions are already underway for the extension of this scheme.
Ali Hasan, Head of Sustainable Initiatives JS Bank, Dr Liaqat Ali Shah, Executive Director for Centre of Excellence for China Pakistan Economic Corridor, Anees Khawaja, CEO, Mahmood Group Apparels, and Ms Nisma from SDPI also shared their views on the diverse aspects of the topic during the workshop.